102 homes proposed on San Antonio Road

An artist's rendering shows a development of 102 homes proposed on San Antonio Road.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The developers behind the embattled Maybell housing project are proposing 102 apartments at 788 San Antonio Road, near Palo Alto’s border with Mountain View.

Developer Ted O’Hanlon and property owner Yurong Han proposed the 567 Maybell Ave. project, which was shrunk from 60 low-income senior apartments and 12 homes, to 30 homes, then finally to what was approved in July 2017 — 16 homes.

But so far the proposal for the San Antonio site is on an opposite trajectory.

Late last year O’Hanlon and Han proposed 48 condominiums at the site. But in May, they instead proposed building 64 condominiums as part of a project that would replace Studio Kicks Palo Alto, a martial arts school at 796 San Antonio, and a potentially historic building at 788 San Antonio.

The new proposal is for 102 apartments — 16 of which would be subsidized — and 1,779 square feet of commercial space.

Most of the council at a May meeting previewed the project, with Councilwoman Liz Kniss saying that the 64-home proposal fit the site. The city’s current zoning allows 20 homes to be built on the site, according to a report from Planning Director Jonathan Lait.

The property at 788 San Antonio, which was once home to a business led by Japanese Americans interned during World War II, is eligible for the state’s register of historic resources, Lait’s report says. Founded in Redwood City in the 1930s, the California Chrysanthemum Growers Association was made up of Japanese immigrants who brought the flower to the area.

But during World War II, they were forced into internment camps, shutting down the business. Upon returning from internment, the group moved its headquarters south because Redwood City was building up some of its orchard land and chrysanthemum growers needed more space to expand.

In 1953, the group bought the property at 788 San Antonio Road. Until at least the 1990s, the California Chrysanthemum Growers Association used the San Antonio Road location as its headquarters until merging with the California Flower Market around 2002.

Because of the historic qualities of the property and the 788 San Antonio building, the project will have to go through the state environmental impact review process, Lait’s report says.

The city’s Architectural Review Board will look at the architectural aspects of the project at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday (Aug. 15) at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.

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  1. While I strongly respect the concerns of interned Japanese Americans and their descendants, Palo Alto has a vital need for additional housing. I live right near San Antonio Road, so I know the next complaint about this proposed construction will be concerns about additional traffic. However, this location is also near the San Antonio train station and major bus lines, so it makes sense in terms of access to public transit. I hope that this goes through.

    • This location is 1.5 miles from the San Antonio Caltrain station, which is not “close.” There are no major bus lines that frequent this intersection.

      This project will be another high-priced condo unit that displaces local services and businesses that benefit our community while providing housing for Google and Facebook imports who will DRIVE everywhere.

      Ridiculously low amount of affordable housing.

      This project is terrible and should be killed.

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